Air Force, Park Service to commemorate Wrights' first flight Dec. 17

A C-5 Galaxy overflys the Wright Brothers Memorial which overlooks the main runway at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.  Dedicated in 1940, the memorial commemorates Dayton inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright and their contributions to manned powered flight. It is now part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park. (Photo courtesy National Park Service)

A C-5 Galaxy flies over the Wright Brothers Memorial, which overlooks the main runway at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Dedicated in 1940, the memorial commemorates the contributions of Dayton inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright to manned powered flight. It is now part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park. Air Force and Park Service officials are planning a ceremony at the memorial Dec. 17, 2010 to celebrate the Wright's first successful powered flight. (Courtesy photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Air Force and National Park Service officials are planning a public ceremony at Wright Memorial Hill here Dec. 17 to commemorate the 107th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first successful powered flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C.

Col. Stephen Goeman, the commander of the 445th Airlift Wing here, will serve as keynote speaker. Stephen Wright, great-grandnephew of the Wright brothers and Col. Amanda Gladney, the 88th Air Base Wing commander, will lay a wreath at the Wright Brothers Memorial during the ceremony.

Continuing with tradition, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park superintendent Dean Alexander will read a proclamation on the significance of the first flight on Dec. 17, 1903 and how two young men from Dayton, Ohio changed the world with their invention of the airplane.

Weather and mission permitting, a C-5 Galaxy flyover is planned by an aircrew from the 445th Airlift Wing. The unit is transitioning from the C-5 to the C-17 Globemaster III.

The event is open to the general public, but parking is limited. The "First Flight" ceremony is outdoors, so event planners advise attendees to dress warmly. Hot beverages will be available inside the adjacent Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center, part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. The center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located near the intersection of Ohio State Route 444 and Kauffman Ave overlooking Huffman Dam.